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Alaya – Thrones

alaya-thronesAlaya

Thrones

01. Inside
02. White Noise
03. Sleep
04. Screaming Still
05. Poor Gloria
06. Haunted pt. I
07. Grace
08. Day of the Dead
09. Thrones
10. Paths
11. Entropy
12. Haunted pt. II
13. Haunted pt. III

[03/06/14]
[Basick Records]

The last few years have seen a slew of bands that focus on technical lines interacting with high-pitched vocals to create a soaring, emotional sound. Coheed and Cambria and Mandroid Echostar lead this style, blending catchy rock melodies and fearless progressive breakdowns to create infectious music that hooks you quickly and leaves you invested. Into this landscape erupts Alaya with their debut album, Thrones. The band announced the album in 2012, but it’s absolutely been worth the wait. Thrones is an engaging and mature album, marking a stellar beginning for these intriguing artists.

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a0146944397_10Tides of Man

Young and Courageous

01. Desolate. Magnificent.
02. Mountain House
03. Drift
04. Young and Courageous
05. All The Years
06. Eyes Like Strange Sins
07. We Were Only Dreaming
08. Hold Still
09. Keep Me Safe
10. Parallels
11. Measure Your Breath

[02/04/14]
[Independent]

It’s been quite a while since Tides of Man have released an album, and in that time the Florida-based band have undergone a drastic transformation. 2010′s Dreamhouse was a fantastic piece of progressive rock tinged with post-hardcore that fit right alongside the likes of Coheed and Cambria or Chiodos, but shortly after the record’s release the band parted ways with frontman Tilian Pearson and began the search for a replacement vocalist. Not being able to find a good fit though, they eventually decided to halt the search and carry on as an instrumental outfit. With vocals being such a central element to their previous work, this change called for an appropriate evolution of the band’s sound, and the result of this reinvention is Young and Courageous.

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alkahest

Here we are at the end of our fifth year at Heavy Blog. I remember at one point in high school (circa 2005-2006), I listened to Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for my Valentine and thought death metal was unmelodic noisey garbage that tried way too hard to be offensive. I even wrote a rant about the matter on my MySpace blog, which served as a precursor for Heavy Blog. Embarrassing, I know. So why talk about it now?

I feel like if you look back on every year-end list I’ve done for this site (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), you can see an evolution take place from metalcore kid just getting his feet wet in the online metal community to someone who I feel is more well-rounded and respective of all genres. You won’t just be catching prog and djent, I assure you. This list has more diversity, and likely includes the heaviest albums of any list I’ve done before. This blog has some depth in that regard, as you can chart the taste of our writers as they change over the years. I like to think that’s pretty neat, and it allows for this site to grow and change with the genre we all associate with so closely. Thankfully, music taste is fluid, and I’m glad that there’s more and more music available every year for us to enjoy.

2013 was an insane year. I graduated college, landed my first job from of my major, and started living on my own. With so much going on, you may have noticed a bit of a dip in content once summer rolled around. That wasn’t a coincidence. Even with a 8-4 job, I still try to keep Heavy Blog afloat, though I’ve considered stepping down or closing our doors on more than one occasion as the stress got a little hard to handle. Who knows what 2014 will hold, but I do know that 2013 was unforgettable. I can’t believe it’s almost over.

So without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily numbered list of awesome albums from 2013. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.

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momentomori

No long introduction. Let’s just get down to business. View Full Article »

dr killjoy

Here it is folks, the end of another great year. 2013 has been a weird year for me, personally as well as musically. There have just been far too many good albums to come out this year and it’s been overwhelming. You could call 2013 the year of the comeback. A lot of the great old bands made their return like Black Sabbath and Gorguts. And there were also a lot of new great bands too who came out with some excellent stuff as well. Personally, this also marks a whole year since I started contributing to Heavy Blog Is Heavy. To be honest, I’d rather be nowhere else. All this music elitism makes this place feel like home.

First off, I’d like to thank all the guys at HBIH for being the best team to work with. Some of the funniest guys I’ve ever met with the most impeccable taste in music. I’d especially like to thank our Editor-In-Chief Jimmy (Alkahest) for giving me a chance to be a part of HBIH. This Indian dude got to give his opinion on music which some of you paid attention to. I’m humbled.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start with what we’re here to see. The Top 15 Albums Of The Year! I chose to go with 15 because this year has been a wild one. I would’ve liked to go with the tried and tested pattern of Top 10, but there have been a lot of great albums to come out and it wouldn’t be fair to skip some of them. The choices on here are really, I think, what everyone should’ve given a shot this year. So, onward with the list, and here’s to a great 2014!

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UNCLE MUSCLES

I’m not going to spend too much time here introducing my list because really, the list itself is what you’re here for. I will say though that 2013 has been an amazing year for music, with many new band discoveries (7 of the artists on my list I hadn’t heard of until this year) and the arrivals of quite a few albums I had been greatly anticipating. There were of course some disappointments as well, but this list isn’t about those. With the sheer volume of quality music we’ve seen this year it’s been incredibly difficult for me to narrow this down to my favorite 15 releases, but after much thought and deliberation I’ve come to settle on these fifteen. I hope you enjoy my picks and maybe even discover something new that you like. With that being said, here goes:

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Mandroid Echostar - Citadels

It’s always a treat when you hear a release that you instantly fall in love with. Our friends in Mandroid Echostar were able to do just that almost immediately I began listening to their new EP Citadels, which opens with haunting acoustic guitars and some of the most beautiful vocals I’ve heard all year. The rest of the EP blows the doors wide open as a highly potent cross-pollination of Protest the Hero and Coheed and Cambria. This is really throwing a wrench in my plans for a best of 2013 list. Check it out below.

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number city

Ever watch a music video, get right to the end, sit back and go ‘I have no idea what just happened’? Well, that’s precisely the reaction I clocked from watching Coheed And Cambria‘s ‘Number City‘. There’s teddybears, guts and a whole lot of surgery — probably worth just seeing it for yourself:

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mandroid echostar citadels

Following the recent success of their crowdfunding drive, melodic prog group Mandroid Echostar have given us a taste of their soon-to-be-released EP entitled Citadels, set for a release sometime in October, in the form of lyric video for ‘To The Wolves’. And if it’s any indication of the quality and style of Citadels, then there’s a good chance that it will be one of the better releases in the latter half of the year.

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best of 2013 so far

With each passing year, it seems like the selection of outstanding releases grows. Perhaps metal is undergoing a universal push towards excellence, or maybe you can chalk it up to us paying more attention as our tastes grow and expand, but the first half of 2013 was a great one. The entire writing and contributing staff of Heavy Blog were each polled on their top picks from the first half of the year, and here’s how the list stacked up

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